Contributed by CHSU Second-Year Medical Students: Kasey Bishop, Sara Jhanjar, Hannah Oteng-Quarshie
On September 23, 2023, California Health Sciences University College of Osteopathic Medicine (CHSU-COM) medical students in three student organizations participated in the Health Education and Leadership (HEaL) Conference 2023 held at Caruthers High School.
The HEaL Conference is an annual event hosted by the UCSF Fresno Doctors Academy to expose over 600 middle school and high school students and their parents from rural communities to various health careers and Central Valley organizations.
CHSU is proud of the medical students and organizations for combatting various issues that rural communities face through outreach and inspiring the next generation of health providers through sharing health and career knowledge.
Overdose Prevention Task Force
The CHSU-COM Overdose Prevention Task Force (OPTF) shared their mission and actions taken to combat opioid overdose alongside Community Medical Center’s Substance Use Navigator, Stephanie Garcia-Martinez and Charlaine Roberto, MD, from UCSF Fresno’s Emergency Medicine Department.
OPTF co-led a presentation that reviewed the effects of opioids, signs of an overdose, and opioid-related overdose rates in the Central Valley. The presentation culminated in a naloxone administration training.
“The event was an immensely enriching and educational experience for not only me and the students, but for the parents of Fresno County. I hope that teaching parents of the risks of fentanyl, signs of an opioid overdose, and how to appropriately administer NARCAN (naloxone) will help save a life one day,” stated Vidushi Razdan, OPTF member and CHSU second-year medical student,
Shriya Deshpande, OPTF member and CHSU second-year medical student added, “The OPTF Narcan training was a great way to support parents by teaching them a practical way to react to a stressful situation like overdose. As opioid overdoses are pervasive health emergencies in the Central Valley, learning how to react efficiently is a life-saving measure and I enjoyed giving them a tool to help.”
The CHSU-COM Valley Mentors (VM) student organization was proud to have thirty, second-year medical students introduce attendees to an osteopathic medicine career through hands-on activities at the HEaL conference.
Engaging over 100 students, the one-hour workshop was split into five mini-skills labs: taking vitals and manual blood pressure and heart rate; correct use of an EpiPen and understanding the dangers of severe allergies; neurological exams and why it matters to assess cranial nerves, muscle strength, cerebellar function, and reflexes; how to provide pediatric CPR for infants and children; and how to provide adult CPR and use an AED.
“The massive event has set the tone for what we hope to achieve as we expand our reach and improve how we mentor and host medical skills labs and events this next year as an organization. It was remarkable to be so well received and participate in such a fantastic event that was a great success,” Hannah Oteng-Quarshie, CHSU second-year medical student.
In addition, CHSU Valley Mentors had a table at the conference’s Resource Fair where students and their parents could learn more about the organization, the journey to medicine, and ask CHSU osteopathic medical students questions.
White Coats 4 Black Lives
CHSU-COM medical students in the White Coats 4 Black Lives (WC4BL) student organization offered an informative session on healthcare career options, admission pathways, and the critical role of diversity in the medical field at the HEaL conference.
Curious young students in attendance at the conference got to ask about the journey of becoming an osteopathic medical student.
The conference was a valuable platform for WC4BL to contribute to the cultivation and development of future physicians who embody cultural sensitivity, social consciousness, and a strong commitment to addressing health disparities within the current medical system.